Construction Enquirer News Chief praises staff for great professionalism in the most challenging of condition

Wates is reinstating full pay for all non-furloughed staff with immediate effect.

Chief executive David Allen said the decision had been made possible by the “amazing efforts” colleagues made to keep the business performing through the challenging conditions of lockdown.

Wates took swift action as the coronavirus crisis hit, placing around a quarter of its 4,000 staff on furlough and slashing board pay by a third with many staff also taking pay cuts.

The private building firm was also the first to announce redundancy plans of around 8% of the workforce in anticipation of falling workloads.

Apart from a 48-hour pause in March, which allowed project teams to work out how to apply the new procedures safely and effectively, Wates managed to keep virtually every project going during the last three months.

Allen said: “I want to thank all my colleagues for the amazing job they’ve done of keeping the show on the road.

“Because of their efforts and professionalism, we have been able to take the positive decision to return people to full pay in July.”

He added that Wates would continue to support furloughed staff, topping up their pay to a minimum of 70% of their salary.

“I’m proud of the great things the Wates Group has achieved during this testing time, and particularly of our work supporting the NHS by helping to create new facilities at both the Royal London Hospital and the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Sunderland.

“We are now focused on accelerating into the second half of 2020 and on playing our part in responding to the Government’s call to ‘Build, Build, Build’.”

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